With the identification of a new chasm that challenges technology companies growth strategies comes the opportunity to make adjustments. By thinking about the psychographics of organizations that are most likely to buy at any given stage of the market, tech companies can plan there approach to learn, grow, and evolve as markets do. The path is fairly straightforward once one fundamental premise is embraced. That is the value in learning from customers at each stage of the market.
For early market stages, when you are appealing to techies, visionaries, Agile Leaders, and Ambitious Leaders, you should be thinking about collaborative exploration. You are working closely with customers to figure out what works, what produces the most value, where there are gaps to be filled, etc. This is about doing what it takes to drive success. Your customers will expect a lot from you at this stage and you need to be prepared to tailor, tune and customize.
The things you learn during this stage should be applied to address whole product considerations, to develop clear guidance on the path to value, and to create buyer enablement tools that help clarify the best path to a quality decision.
Armed with these assets and learnings, you move to a focus on comprehensive standardization when dealing with Fast Followers, Disciplined Followers, and pragmatists. This group’s expectations are also high, but less so about customization, and more so about depth of information and opportunities to reduce the risk of the decision. As you engage with this group, you want to learn as much as you can from them–how they buy, who they involve, the questions they ask, the steps they follow. These are very effective technology buyers. They put in the work to make good decisions and you can learn what they do and what content and programs you offer that they value, which ones they don’t, and which ones need to be tweaked.
You are using this stage to build out your content, clarifying use cases, implementing programs, refining success and service strategies. This stage arms you with insights to shape and simplify buying for the rest of the market. But now you are hitting the New Chasm. And there is a big change to get to the other side.
The conservatives, laggards, Reluctant Followers, Conflicted Laggards, and Disinterested Laggards are sort of lazy. They don’t want to research in depth. They don’t want to work for answers; they want the answers given to them. This is makes for more frequent poor decisions and more purchase regret. To try to help this group, you need to focus on Relentless Simplification. Everything you learned and created during the second stage needs to be simplified. Rather than observe how these organizations buy, tell them how to do so. Recommend the composition of the buying team; build out ROI models (vs. giving them tools to do so themselves), simplify the product. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Figure out the minimum amount of research and evaluation to make a good decision and work to focus these customers on just those things. Help them help themselves.
As you continue to evolve your products and strategies through market stages, working to understand the psychographics of your customers can help you plan your content and engagement strategies, tailoring it to each group to maximize effectiveness.
Moving from Collaboration Exploration to Comprehensive Standardization to Relentless Simplification provides a path for execution based on market adoption patterns that will give you the best chance to maximize success.